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Jamie Dimon greeted by hecklers as testimony begins

June 13, 2012|By Andrew Tangel

WASHINGTON --Theatrics for Jamie Dimon's day on Capitol Hill began according to the script for high-profile Washington hearings, with requisite heckling from protesters.

As the chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. arrived to take his seat at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, a man in a brown blazer began shouting at Dimon as a crush of photographers snapped away.

“Jamie Dimon’s a crook," the man yelled, as Dimon appeared unfazed. "This guy should be going to prison."

After he quieted down, Capitol police allowed the man to take his seat, as senators and spectators entered the hearing room.

Shortly thereafter, a chant erupted -- "Stop foreclosures now!" -- among some protesters, including the earlier heckler. Capitol police then removed them.

The topic of the day, of course, is not JPMorgan's loan servicing but its risk management -- and how the bank sustained a more than $2-billion loss in risky derivatives trades.

Opening statements by the panel's chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), and ranking member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) hinted at what questions Dimon faces in the two-hour hearing.

"First, did the losses from these trades threaten the safety and soundness of JPMorgan?" Shelby said. "And second, could it happen again?"

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